The journey toward environmentally friendly cups is expanding more rapidly in other parts of the world. Starbucks South Korea plans to eliminate single-use cups in every store by 2025. In replacement, the coffee chain will gradually implement “cup circularity” programs to encourage reusability. South Korea is Starbuck’s fifth largest market, with more than 1,500 stores across 78 cities. It was the first region to get rid of plastic straws in favor of strawless lids and paper straws in 2018. The initiative was rolled out to the U.S. and Canada in 2020.
Starbucks has an overall goal to become a resource positive company by 2030, and that means 50 percent reductions in greenhouse gases, water usage, and waste. The brand reported in March that it is addressing its carbon and water footprint by providing farmers with the proper tools and technology, such as a soil scanning mobile app, climate resistant tree varietals, eco-mills, and water replenishment projects.
Other strategies toward becoming resource positive include expanding plant-based menu options, investing in reforestation and forest conservation, and developing an eco-friendly supply chain through store designs, manufacturing, and delivery.